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Report on Vehicle Crime at Recreation Sites

16 December 2009

Report Released on Vehicle Crime at Recreation Sites

A new report released by The Department of Conservation (DOC) has provided an insight into theft from vehicles at recreation and tourist areas.

The report found that only 0.2% of all vehicle crime reported to the police occurred at DOC sites.

Even though vehicle crime was relatively low, many people carried the perception that vehicle crime is on the increase.

Dave Jane, DOC’s Manager for Recreation and Historic, said, “Although the cases are low, vehicle crime is still a concern for the Department.” “We want people to feel safe and continue to enjoy these places.”

The purpose of the study was to explore the nature of vehicle crime and understand the impact that this type of crime has on visitors. It was also expected that the study would indentify cases of best practice to reduce crime at these sites.

Information was collected from various sources including interviews with doc staff, back packers, offenders and an analysis of police data.

Recommendations for reducing vehicle crime at recreation sites include; improving lighting in car parks; installing cameras; and improving car park design to improve vision. A coordinated joint agency approach and guardianship of recreation sites by members of the community is also encouraged.

There are simple measures the public can take to discourage vehicle crime. For example, hiding or taking valuables out of vehicles so that they are no longer visible; installing additional securing e.g. car alarms and vehicle locks; and not leaving vehicles for extended periods of time.

The report is available on the Department of Conservation website at www.doc.govt.nz

ENDS

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